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Ann Rehabil Med. 2018 Aug;42(4):521-527. English. Original Article.
Park JW , Kim SB , Lee KW , Lee JH , Park JG , Lee SJ .
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and Regional Cardiocerebrovascular Center, Dong-A University College of Medicine, Busan, Korea.
Department of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, Daejeon St. Mary’s Hospital, College of Medicine, The Catholic University of Korea, Daejeon, Korea.


To investigate the effects of hand training using low-frequency repetitive transcranial magnetic stimulation (rTMS) within the aftereffect period on hand function in patients with subacute stroke.


The subacute stroke patients with hand weaknesses were divided randomly into two groups. Patients in the intervention group underwent hand training within the aftereffect period, that is, immediately after receiving low-frequency rTMS treatment. Patients in the control group underwent hand training 2 hours after the low-frequency rTMS treatment. A manual function test (MFT) for ‘grasp and pinch’ and ‘hand activities’; a manual muscle test (MMT) for ‘grasp’, ‘release’, and ‘abductor pollicis brevis (APB)’; and the Modified Ashworth Scale for finger flexion were performed and measured before and immediately after combined therapy as well as 2 weeks after combined therapy.


Thirty-two patients with hand weakness were enrolled in this study. The intervention group patients showed more improvements in grasp MMT and MMT APB tested immediately after combined therapy. However, the changes in all measurements were not significantly different between the two groups 2 weeks after the combined therapy. In both groups, hand functions improved significantly immediately after combined therapy and 2 weeks after combined therapy.


Hand training immediately after low-frequency rTMS showed more rapid improvement in the motor power of hands than hand training conducted 2 hours after low-frequency rTMS. Our results suggest that conducting hand training immediately after low-frequency rTMS could be an improved useful therapeutic option in subacute stroke patients.

Copyright © 2019. Korean Association of Medical Journal Editors.